Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly - Oct 21, 2019 at 5:02PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Boeing fell on mounting concerns about issues that led to the 737 MAX crashes, and Halliburton's third-quarter report triggered a rally in energy shares.

Major benchmarks rose Monday as investors anticipated the busiest week of third-quarter earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.00%) dipped in the morning but moved up during the day, and the broader S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.43%) was in positive territory for the whole session.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.21% 57.44
S&P 500 0.69% 20.52

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As for individual stocks, Boeing (BA -0.63%) fell on new concerns related to the 737 MAX, and Halliburton (HAL 1.11%) rose despite a slowdown in oil drilling in North America.

Montage of upward graphs and world map.

Image source: Getty Images.

Challenges grow for Boeing

Troubles related to the 737 MAX continued to mount for Boeing, and shares lost more altitude, falling 3.8% and weighing on the Dow in the process. The company responded to potentially damaging text messages over the weekend, and The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Congress is investigating new information that raises concerns about the aerospace giant's internal culture.

Boeing issued a release Sunday that said that the message from a test pilot was in reaction to a simulator program that wasn't functioning properly, according to a statement by the pilot's attorney. The company said that the simulator program in use at the time was not finalized and was still undergoing testing and qualification, but that it's continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the instant message exchange.

News of the texts hit the stock Friday, but pressure increased today after a new report about an internal survey at Boeing in November 2016 showed that some employees felt "potential undue pressure" regarding safety approvals. Some engineers have dual roles designing systems and certifying the same ones as safe, and lawmakers are reportedly investigating whether pressure from management could have compromised safety.

Investors approve of how Halliburton is handling U.S. drilling downturn

Halliburton reported declining revenue and profit in the third quarter, but investors were braced for bad news and apparently approved of the steps the oil services specialist is taking, and shares rose 6.4%. Revenue fell 10% to $5.55 billion, below the analyst consensus estimate of $5.81 billion, and earnings per share dropped 32% to $0.34, about what Wall Street was expecting.

International revenue was flat from the quarter before, but management expects it to achieve high-single-digit growth for the full year of 2019. North America revenue, though, was down 11% from the second quarter due to declining drilling activity.

On the conference call, the energy sector giant cited its experience in dealing with challenging drilling environments before, reminding investors of the $1 billion in costs it took out in 2016 and saying it plans to increase cost reductions the company has already been making. Halliburton also believes that production declines will continue into 2020, and drillers will look to it for technologies to improve efficiencies and well productivity.

Jim Crumly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
BA
$164.85 (-0.63%) $-1.04
Halliburton Company Stock Quote
Halliburton Company
HAL
$28.31 (1.11%) $0.31
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$32,832.54 (0.00%) $0.00
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,122.47 (-0.43%) $-17.59

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
379%
 
S&P 500 Returns
123%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/10/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.